Christmas: November 2011 Archives
With some simple modifications and one super-genius knitting pattern you too can knit your own knitted reindeer. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I speak the truth and here's what you will need.
1) Danger Craft Tofu the Dachshund Knitting Pattern
2) US size 7 needles (DPNs if you prefer or cable for your magic loop lovers)
3) 1 Ball of worsted weight yarn in an reindeer-ish color
4) 1 small pom pom (you can make or used a readymade)
5) Size 6 mm safety eyes
6) Contrasting worsted weight yarn for antlers, tail, belly button
To get started, follow pattern as written except for making the tail, ears and belly button.
I hand sewed my red nose on right after I light stuffed the nose. Then I added the eyes and finished stuffing. I found whip stitching gives the best finish for sewing on the arms. For the belly button, I didn't think an X was christmasy enough so I added a few more stitches to the X and made it a Christmas star.
The tail I cast on as described in the pattern but after 4-5 rounds, I started to decrease every 4 sts, skip a row and decrease again until there were 2 sts left and then I cut my yarn, wove it through the remaining stitches and pull tight and knot.
To make the antlers I used a 4 st i-cord. After working 4 rows, I slipped 2 sts to a cable needle, working with the remaining 2 sts on my working needles, increased using the Make 1 increase. The next row, I increased again to regain 4 sts. After 4 rows, I repeated the above and once I had regained 4 sts a second time I broke my yarn, wove it through my remaining sts and pulled tight and secured. I then picked up my first 2 sts from the cable needle and working in i-cord, increase using Make 1 (3 sts) work 4 rows and break yarn, weave through remaining sts, pull tight and secure. Repeat for 2 set of slipped sts on cable needle for 2nd antler branch.
Repeat all of the above for 2nd antler. You can choose to thread pipe cleaners though your main branch of the antlers for shape. I didn't because I liked how silly and floppy they were but older children may prefer be able to manipulate the antlers.
Make 8 companions for your Rudolf so he doesn't get lonely and embroider their initials to their chests so you little ones can name their reindeer as they sing Christmas carols.
I love a good juxtaposition of fashion, namely mixing men's suiting with a feminine silhouette. You will probably not find me in such a richly ruffled piece of clothing unless you can tone it down with some smooth, dark and simply decorated men's suiting. The combo is my cup of tea. I was looking for the perfect project to branch out our men's suiting and the overtly feminine design of the HotPatterns Cabriolet Dress/skirt was perfect. There are 2 layers of gathered ruffles that flow and drape to accentuate a woman's body coupled with a long tie to cinch in the waist and create a dramatic bow. If this design doesn't say "Woman" nothing does. The wool suiting I selected is dark blue with a simple and stark window pane detail in gold. That is it. It is rich and lightweight but dark and simple. The perfect fabric for a man's garment. The two together make for a striking combination that can be worn to a number of occasions. Paired with a fitted white button down shirt and red pumps makes a dramatic outfit for a work Christmas party. Worn as a dress with leggings and knee high riding boots and a fitted blazer can be fabulous outfit for Christmas shopping or an outdoor fall party. Or you can wear it as a dress throw on a shrug and a pair of bold heels for date night or girls night out!
I love this version and can't wait to wear it out. I might not be able to wait and will probably be seen sporting it at the grocery store and maybe down to the park. Nap time tomorrow might be spent finding new outfit combinations to post on Facebook!
Some tips on the pattern:
1) Either cut a second tie as a lining or serge or zig zag all your pieces before assembly. You can also opt for a decadent bias tape like dupioni silk.
2) Try using a second fabric for your tie to create interest or a color block effect.
3) You can plan and add a long button hole to slide your tie through if you want since it is not in the instructions.
You will need a pinking shears/pinking rotary cutter, an awl or icepick, Styrofoam cones and some fabric glue for the top. This was an extremely quick project and took less than 30 minutes once I had pulled all my materials together.
For the Green tree:
I began by cutting 2x4 inch squares of fabric. I put them in
the tree randomly and was deliberate about where I put them on each row. Once I
completed going all the way around the tree, I moved up about a ½ inch and
inserted another strip of fabric into the Styrofoam. I pushed the fabric in
with the awl (no glue necessary). If the fabric did not stay, I pushed a little
more in to hold it in place. I ran into issues at the top of the tree when I pushed
too hard and the top break. With a little Arlene's Glue, put it back together
and glued the last few pieces at the top together.
For the Scraps tree:
My mom helped with this one - we took scraps from other projects and then started randomly putting them into the tree. She cut strips of scrap fabrics and I inserted them into the tree, with no rhyme or reason. I started at the bottom of the tree and worked my way up. We used pins when I got to the top - the Styrofoam was weak there and the pins help the fabric in place.
Other thoughts and suggestions:
You could do an entire tree with pins which might allow you to make color designs with the fabric. I plan on adding a copper star to the top that I will be cutting out of a copper sheet of metal. For those that do not have a space for a large tree, this is a great way to bring a little holiday spirit to your desk or home.
I have fallen in love with the tulle party dresses populating Etsy these days and have dreamed of creating one for my little lady for the upcoming holidays. I resigned to start where I seldom go: into my own stash of toddler dress patterns (with 2 grandmas that sew I can 1) fight over my daughter's wardrobe or 2)be resigned and spend the time on mine). I really loved the high empire waist styling with an over-sized tulle skirt so I picked out a few patterns that already featured an empire waist and started modifying from there. Here are a few great patterns from our store for you to work from:
The key to taking your pattern from regular to Tulle-tacular (yes, I just said Tulle-tacular. Give it time, it's gonna be huge) is the combination of colors. I have noticed the big sellers on Etsy and also the dresses that are my favorite are those that either couple rich jewel tone tulle and fabric together (think garnet, amber or jade) or just the jewel tone tulle paired with an unexpected and bold cotton print for the bodice. I considered pairing my Jade 108 in. Tulle with a complimentary Dupioni Silk for the bodice but when I found this black and white damask cotton print in my stash I knew it was the one. I assembled the bodice as instructed by the pattern but made the skirt out of a combination of tulle and matching cotton fabric (you can also use a knit fabric). The matching cotton fabric is for the underskirt which is a very important part because it will keep the tulle from touching the skin and tulle can be irritating. The underskirt needs to be invisible so it must match your tulle. My 108 in. tulle came folded in thirds from the bolt and I left it folded and cut out my skirt widths with it folded. I then layered several skirt widths until I had my desired fullness (I chose 3 layers or about 3-4 yds of tulle). I then stitched the skirt together at the back and basted through all layers across the top and then pulled the bobbin thread to gather up all the tulle to create my skirt. To create the under skirt I just cut one piece of cotton to the same width as one tulle layer and stitched it up the back and gathered it at the top as with the tulle. To attach the underskirt and tulle to the bodice I pinned the gathered tulle to the right side of the bodice (right sides facing) and the underskirt to the wrong side (the right side of the underskirt facing the wrong side of the bodice) and then stitched both in place. To make sure your hem is correct, you will need your little girl to try on the dress and then mark the length desired. Then cut off the excess with scissors. Really simple.
You can embellish your skirt from your extra bits of tulle by cutting out butterflies, flowers or ruffles. You can hand sew your embellishments on with some glitter or beads for extra glitz. A matching headband might be in order as well!
The same theory can be used for Adult dresses as well, just unfold the tulle and use much more (6-7 yds).